Alles over kunst



Lagos, Peckham, Repeat: Pilgrimage to the Lakes

Luc  Franken

Praktische info

‘Lagos, Peckham, Repeat: Pilgrimage to the Lakes,’ until 29 October 2023, South London Gallery, London,

Peckham is home to one of the largest Nigerian communities in the UK. So it should come as no surprise that the South London Gallery has dedicated a major group exhibition looking at the connections between the Nigerian capital and Peckham. Showcasing works by thirteen Nigerian and British-Nigerian artists, ‘Lagos, Peckham, Repeat’ highlights the relationships, culture, shared history, communities and art that link the two places. One of the standout pieces is I’d rather not go blind (2023), in the main gallery: a filmed performance that Temitayo Shonibare (1995) staged on a London Overground train. The artist’s face is completely covered by a long, ginger wig — which she fiddles with throughout the journey, oblivious to the reactions of other passengers. Across the road in the Fire Station, SLG’s second site, seven more artworks are displayed in separate spaces spread out over three floors. The most moving of these are to be found in two screening rooms on the first floor. One shows No Archive Can Restore You (2020), a five-minute video by Onyeka Igwe (1986) filmed in the former Nigerian Film Unit, one of the first outposts of the Colonial Film Unit — an ‘educational’ film organisation set up by the British imperial government in London. The abandoned condition of this building hints that people cannot and do not want to see the films it houses — and their revelation of colonial legacies. Meanwhile, through his recreation of the living room in his childhood home, Adeyemi Michael (1985) invites us to imagine his mother as he saw her when he was growing up. The film, Entitled (2018), shows her wearing Yoruba ceremonial attire as she rides through the streets of Peckham on horseback: a powerful and empowering image that was also used for the exhibition poster.

Yinka Shonibare, Diary of a Victorian Dandy 14:00 hours, 1998, courtesy of the artist